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5 ways to improve your support network

For many in small business, it’s very easy to slip into the mindset of wanting to do everything yourself. In fact, the reason why you started you business was probably because you know a better way of doing something, and it’s this stubborn mentality that may do more harm than good in the long-term. 

There will be some challenges you can overcome by learning more and training yourself to be a better businessperson, but all business owners can benefit from a little more support. Here are 5 easy ways to connect with some supportive peers:

1. Join a networking group

There are many networking groups available, with many smaller ones popping up all the time. There are also specialty-meeting groups for women, start-ups and more. You can find a good list of events from websites like http://www.networkingworld.net.au/ and you can find some fun niche meet ups at http://www.meetup.com.

2. Go to training events

Why not kill two birds with one stone? Going to training days can be a great opportunity to meet people that are also struggling with the same issues as you are. They’re also an opportunity to meet a coach in the area you need help.

3. Find a co-founder or business partner

This is a bigger step, but sometimes it may be a good idea to add someone in the team who can absorb your weaknesses and bring you the strength you need to grow you business to the next level.

This is a big commitment, so you’ll want to have a few meetings and some fairly in-depth discussions before you jump into bed with a new partner. For tech start-ups, Co-founder Speed Dating is a great way to find that partner:

4. Find a mentor or create an advisory board

Sometimes the support you need goes beyond a shoulder to cry on. A great and successful business often has a team of more experienced business owners behind it revealing the road of least resistance. Why struggle through all the failures yourself when you can learn from someone else’s? Approach some successful entrepreneurs in your industry and try and connect with them. Always make sure you research the person you plan to approach and find a way to offer them value from the partnership. You need someone you respect to hold you accountable.

5. Create a small meet-up group to get together and discuss issues

If you live or work in an area where networking events are less frequent, think about starting your own small meetups at the local coffee store. Approach business owners you like and ask them to bring people they like. Before you know it you’ll be running a regular gathering full of like-minded people.

As the famous quote by Tony Robbins goes: “80 percent of wealth is psychology and only 20 percent is mechanics”, so it is important to make sure you create a support network that can help you improve that 80 percent.

You are always free to tweet me @savvysme if you need someone to chat to.

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Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang is the co-founder of <a href="http://www.savvysme.com.au/">SavvySME</a>, an innovative social platform for Australian small and medium businesses to find the help they need to grow their business. Wendy specialises in online marketing and ecommerce to help businesses embrace the internet.

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